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Happy Birthday to My Daughter - 2001
There was the garden -
our very first real garden.
We’d pick green beans and
you’d ask, “This one, Mommy?”
I’d show you how the peanuts
and potatoes grew,
and tried to make you
less afraid of worms,
We had the luxury of looking
through the catalogs to find the perfect
pink-checked bedspread for your first bedroom;
You helped me paste the red felt roof
on the cardboard house and church we made
and we tacked it onto your bedroom wall.
It was just your size, and I think it made you
feel secure and loved.
I showed you how to flour the tin
for the pie crust we rolled out together,
and how to carefully pour the can of cherry filling,
And how to work the spring-loaded torte pan
for our favorite cheesecake- the one that got so high.
One time we made a graham cracker cake for grandpa
from a recipe no longer on the cracker box -
his fellow patients on the psyche ward seemed to like it.
And we’d read from books that I wish had all been more classic,
but Disney had a sale, and you seemed to love cute Mickey so.
And I was careful not to sing the sad songs grandma sang to me;
I played Cat Stevens and the Beatles on the stereo
And Firebird because someone said the dissonance was genius;
There was Peter and the Wolf -- the one played by a fancy orchestra,
but I added Frankie Lane and Denver’s songs because they spoke to me
A thousand things we did; ten thousand days together and apart,
Each day a new adventure because of you:
Watching out my taxi window on Broadway in New York as you
roller-bladed past behind a bus shouting,
“See you up at the apartment, Mom.”
And countless things you say and do
that make my world and that of others, a much happier place
Each year - a promise of a new adventure that you bring
which I experience, not really so vicariously,
all because you are my daughter!
© 2001 by Billie for Bethany with love